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Would like advice on putting together a decent tool set(10 posts)

Would like advice on putting together a decent tool setjoekm
Oct 30, 2002 11:27 AM
Now that I'm fully back into cycling, I want to do as much of my own maintenance as practicle. I've seen a few tool sets from Park, Spin Doctor, etc. and am trying to do this as cost effective as possible. I used to work as an aircraft mechanic before becoming an engineer so I've got a pretty decent set of basic tools. I also keep a Topeak Alien in my mountain bike and a Topeak Hummer in my road bike.

So, any suggestions on some tool packages that would have the necessary specialty tools but not be too terribly expensive?

re: Would like advice on putting together a decent tool setRusty Coggs
Oct 30, 2002 11:34 AM
Buy the specific bike tools for what is on your bike rather than 'packages'.
re: Would like advice on putting together a decent tool setFredrico
Oct 30, 2002 1:04 PM
Rusty speaks wisdom. You can waste alot of money getting a set of tools only a few out of which your bike will require. Get what you need to do the job(s). You're already well set-up with all the basic stuff, I would think.
Forget the packages...Steve_0
Oct 30, 2002 11:34 AM
off the top of my head:

2 cone wrenches of appropriate size
headset wrench
crank puller
cassette tool
BB tool
Allen Keys
Chainlink tool

Your basic set should cover everything else.

Figure between 3 and 12 dollars for each of the above from Park (except the allen keys).
Forget the packages...Spoke Wrench
Oct 30, 2002 12:44 PM
I'm not crazy about the packages either.

For working at home, just get whatever you need. You don't need all of the cone wrench sizes. You'll need either a Shimano or Campy cassette lock ring tool, but probably not both. If your headset is threadless, you don't need to pay for headset wrenches. You get the idea.

Nobody has the best of everything. I much prefer the Shimano cable cutter to the Park equivlent. I also prefer the Shimano BB tool for removing Shimano bottom brackets, but I like the Park equivlent for reinstalling - go figure.

Allen wrenches - I really like the bondhus style (they have a ball-end so they don't have to align perfectly with the bolt) for everything but the last tightening twist. I don't like Y-wrenches or folding sets because they are too bulky to fit into places like water bottle cages. I have a set of Pedros, but they can be a little bulky too. I wish Pedros would have made the handles different colors so it'd be quicker to spot the right one. Allen wrenches don't last forever so when they start to round out, get a new one.
Steve_O has got it pretty much right (nm)Kerry
Oct 30, 2002 5:28 PM
Gun to shoot yourself in the foot is a must. (nm)onespeed
Oct 30, 2002 11:47 AM
re: Would like advice on putting together a decent tool setpmf1
Oct 30, 2002 11:56 AM
Definitely get a workstand. Its very useful (both for repairs and cleaning) and never wears out.

Aside from that, just buy what you need when you need it. Most work on a bike involves a screw driver and some hex wrenches. These are cheap. The three pronged 3-4-5 one Park makes is nice as are the ones with large handles, but a set from Home Depot works fine too. A cassette removal tool and chain whip is handy to have (I use vice grips on the cassette tool). If you find yourself needing to true wheels, a truing stand is another nice thing to have, but not necessary. It is easy to true wheels yourself. Saves time and money over taking them to a bike shop. Building your own can be fun.

Personally, I would not plop down $200-$300 on a package. Its a good deal if you actually need and use all the tools included, but chances are you won't.

There are a number of "exotic" tools like a spoke tensiometer and headset press that are hard to justify. If I have a frame that needs a headset installed, I'll take it to the LBS and have them do it (as well as cut the fork).
Yea, I used to true my own wheels.....joekm
Oct 30, 2002 12:20 PM
I rigged up a fixture that would hold a couple of grease pencils and allow me to true the wheel on the frame. Be nice to have a real truing stand.

Problem is, truing your own wheels is a real easy way to get obsessed about them ;).

Overwhelming advice seems to be "get what you need when you need it". That is probably what I will do.

Yea, I used to true my own wheels.....pmf1
Oct 30, 2002 1:05 PM
I've got a bunch of tools I've accumulated over the years. Best just to buy what you need when you need it. The hex wrenches with the long plastic handles are nice.

My only regret is not buying a top of the line truing stand. I bought the Park consumer stand 10 years or so ago. I wish I would have spent the extra $75 and got the top of the line one. It has useful features that would have been worth the money over the years. The consumer stand worked OK (I built several wheel sets on it), but the pro version would have been nicer. Like a repair stand, its something you can use forever that never wears out or becomes obsolete (like those Shimano crank pullers). Worth spending the money on a nice one.